Following other municipalities, West Kelowna now sees the light

City is looking to replace its 1,750 existing HPS street lights with LED longer-lasting LED lights.

West Kelowna is looking at replace its 1

West Kelowna is following Kelowna’s lead locally and looking to convert its street lights to LED units instead of high pressure sodium (HPS) light.

And while it has not nailed down the total savings it may experience as a result of the change—the business plan for such a move has yet to be completed—city staff say they expect to see a savings of $4,500 alone from the year-long pilot project the city is undertaking.

That project will see a total of 193 lights at different locations around the city changed to LED units at a cost of $60,000,including $10,000 grant from B.C. Hydro. The city has 1,750 street lights, not including lights owned and operated by the province, B.C. Hydro and private owners.

In addition to the electricity savings, the city also expects to save on maintenance costs as the LED lights have a life-expectancy of 15 to 20 years, compared to five to 10 years for HPS lights.

The City of Kelowna announced last week it was embarking on a change-over of its street lights and estimates it will save $13 million over the next 15 years by making the change.

The light emitted from LEDs is described as brighter and can be better directed without causing light pollution.

LED lights are already in use in a few areas of West Kelowna— along part of Highway 97 (between the Glenrosa interchange and Westbank), as well as on Brown Road, Boucherie Road, Hudson Road at Alhambra Road and Gellatly Road adjacent to McDonalds.

The pilot project will give city staff information to use in preparing the business plan to present to council prior to making a full conversion.

City council gave the pilot project the green light Tuesday night.